40 Years Ago, Mexico Released a Trans-Themed Film Better Than Most Trans Cinema Today:
Not only was the film the first of Mexican cinema to be supportive of queer or trans struggles, it also presented audiences with an understanding of the sexual and physical violence faced by trans women and sex workers. Read the full article here. You can watch the movie on Youtube.
Sixty-Two Films About LGBTQ+ Teens That Aren’t Love, Simon | The Pool:
It’s great that a film with a gay protagonist has created this much support and this much conversation. The problem is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the conversation we’re having. In the marketing of this film – and the numerous think-pieces written about it – you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was the first film about LGBTQ+ teens to have existed, ever. And it’s not. Not even close. Yes, Love, Simon is a step forward as it is *takes a deep breath* the first LGBTQ+ teen romcom released by a major studio, but that’s quite a niche accolade. It’s important and great and it’s a good thing it exists, but it’s not as groundbreaking as the hype would have you believe.
And that’s a good thing! It’s great that there are loads of LGBTQ+ teen films out there already; it’s just important that, when talking about the progress we are making with Love, Simon, we don’t ignore them. For one thing, it erases the queer filmmakers who have been doing the work and creating these stories for decades, when big studios wouldn’t have dreamed of picking them up.
What’s your favorite queer teen movie? Read the full thing here.
Maryland to open a public elementary school named for Bayard Rustin:
This fall, Rockville, Maryland’s newest public elementary school will be the first in the district named for an openly gay person: Bayard Rustin.
Advocates say naming the school Bayard Rustin Elementary is a way to fight stigma, honor a civil rights legend who is often overlooked, and uplift and validate LGBTQ students.
“As a queer student, even in a progressive area, I was raised in a society that still attaches shame to my identity,” Jamie Griffith, a senior from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, testified to the board. “So a Bayard Rustin Elementary School is not only a well-deserved homage to a civil rights leader and hero, but a way to break stigma and give hope to future students who no longer have to feel trapped in the closet.”
Naming the school after Rustin would also raise awareness of an activist who’s largely been ignored by history because of his identity, advocates said Thursday. Rustin stood alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and was a leading organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. […]
The recognition of LGBTQ identities is gaining additional significance in the current political climate, testified Gabriel Acevero, a Montgomery Village resident who is running for state delegate.
“We have a hostile administration that is intent on erasing LGBTQ folks, recently taking us off the Census and banning transgender Americans from serving their country,” Acevero said. “Now more than ever we need to affirm LGBTQ youth, and that’s why Bayard Rustin is such a powerful name for this school.”
Could not love this more.
Colorado House passes bill banning conversion therapy for youth:
This week in Colorado, the House of Representatives passed a bill banning the harmful and ineffective practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors. The bill now moves forward to the Senate.
“No child should be subjected to this dangerous and debunked practice condemned by every major medical and mental health organization,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “Right now, it’s incredibly important that fair-minded voices across the state of Colorado speak out and demand the Senate pass this crucially important legislation. Young LGBTQ Coloradons deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.”
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also passed similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin. In addition, the Maryland state legislature passed similar protections earlier this week.
Go, Colorado, go!
Transgender youth whose chosen names are respected have better mental health:
Once again, research has found that transgender youth whose identities are respected have better mental health than those who are not. More specifically, this research looked at the impact of trans youth having their chosen names used throughout their lives.
The new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that trans youth fared vastly better when their chosen names were used at places like home, work, and school.
The results showed a very clear link. For each additional context in which they could go by their chosen name, there was a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts and a 56 percent decrease in suicidal behavior. That was even after the researchers controlled for factors like personal characteristics (like race/ethnicity, sexual identity, access to free lunch, or the differences between the three cities) and the impact of social support (from parents, friends, classmates, teachers, and their school).
“Depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior were at the lowest levels when chosen names could be used in all four contexts,” the study explains.
Stephen T. Russell, one of the researchers on the study, said the results were impressively demonstrative. “I’ve been doing research on LGBT youth for almost 20 years now, and even I was surprised by how clear that link was,” he said in a statement. “It’s practical to support young people in using the name that they choose. It’s respectful and developmentally appropriate.”
Yes, water is wet, but we can’t write off the significance of research like this. The more data we have about the importance of respecting and validating trans people’s transitions, the stronger a case we have for making those processes easier, especially for young people. More research!